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When my little one was born, I felt like all she did was eat, sleep and poop. No matter what I did or didn’t do, this seemed to be the pattern every day.
Nurse, poop, sleep.
However, once we started entering the magical world of solid foods this all changed!
Her little stomach would get hard as a rock and you could tell she wanted to poop, but nothing happened.
(By the way, before you had a baby, did you ever think about poop so much?)
Finally, after a lot of research and trial and error, I found the most effective and safest baby constipation home remedies.
How Often Do Babies Poop?
The answer to this is- it depends.
Newborns who are breastfed typically poop after every feeding. As they get older, this tends to decrease to a few times per day.
However, after you introduce solid foods, everything changes.
Some babies still poop every day, some multiple times per day. Others only poop every 2-3 days (HealthLine).
Any of these patterns can be normal as long as your baby doesn’t seem uncomfortable.
How Do You Know if Your Baby is Constipated?
As soon as your baby seems to be struggling to poop, crying while pooping, or not eating as much, there’s a good chance your little one is constipated.
Common signs of constipation in babies are:
- Crying while pooping
- Hard and Dry Stools
- Being fussy and eating less or spitting up more
- Belly Bloating
Pay attention to what your baby’s poop looks like (fun, I know!)
If your baby’s poop is hard, dry, and looks like small pebbles, this is another sign of constipation (MayoClinic).
Why Is your Baby Constipated?
Adding solids to your baby’s diet is usually the main cause of constipation. Many of the traditional first foods (rice, bananas, low-fiber cereal) are low in fiber.
This can cause your baby to have a hard time pooping and get very constipated.
Also, formula-fed babies may become constipated from either the proteins or dairy in the formula.
Try some of these baby constipation home remedies to get your baby pooping like a pro!
Baby Constipation Home Remedies
Analyze What Your Baby Is Eating
Has your baby tried any new foods this week? If you’ve recently introduced a new food and your baby is exceptionally constipated, your little one’s stomach might not be ready for it.
Also, certain foods are more constipating than others.
Bananas, avocados, rice cereal, and applesauce are typically more constipating than other foods.
Also, a lot of babies have a hard time digesting dairy such as yogurt and cheese.
If your baby has been eating a lot of any of these foods, first try to change their diet to see if it helps.
Try to avoid these constipating foods for a few days.
Increase Water Intake
If your little one is drinking water, try to give them extra water for a few days. This will help soften their poop and keep everything moving.
If you haven’t introduced water, you can try to breastfeed more frequently and offer less binding foods for a few days too.
Adding extra fluids makes a big difference.
I’m sure everyone has heard about the magic of prunes at some point in their lives. We usually think of them as an old person remedy, but they work well for babies too.
I always keep organic prunes on hand just in case of constipation. I mix it in with some of her favorites to help cut the strong taste.
I’m telling you, they usually work like magic.
You can try giving your little one a small amount of prune juice if you’d prefer, but make sure to read labels.
Juices can be loaded with added sugars and other ingredients that babies do not need.
If you do decide to give your baby juice, stick to less than 2 ounces and dilute it in water.
Stomach exercises are surprisingly effective to help move the bowels along too!
The movement of abdominal muscles helps stimulate the bowel and move stool along.
Lay your baby on their back and move their legs like they’re riding a bike. This will help contract the abdominal muscles and get things moving along.
Another great technique for constipation is massaging your little one’s stomach. Gently massage your baby’s stomach in a clockwise circular motion.
This is the direction stools travel through their intestines.
Apply gentle pressure and try to help the poop move forward through the track.
Add More High Fiber Foods
If your baby continuously becomes constipated, try to add more high fiber foods to their diet.
These foods include apples, pears, peaches, and plums. These will help fight constipation and keep your baby pooping.
This isn’t one of the most enjoyable techniques, but it does usually work. Grab your rectal thermometer, apply a small amount of vaseline, and gently insert it into your baby’s bottom.
Wiggle the tip around a few times and then remove it.
This helps stimulate the rectum and a bowel movement or poop will follow shortly.
Change Your Diet
If you’re still exclusively breastfeeding and your baby is constipated, try to change your diet.
Try to cut back on dairy first to see if your baby has an intolerance.
Keep a food diary and keep track of how your baby responds to the different foods you eat.
Try A Different Formula
If your baby is formula-fed and very constipated, it’s worth looking into a different formula.
Maybe your baby is sensitive to dairy or lactose in the formula. Or maybe it’s a different protein (whey or soy) that they aren’t handling well.
Keep trying different formulas until you find one that your baby tolerates best.
Speak To Your Healthcare Provider
If none of these techniques work and your baby still hasn’t pooped, it’s time to check in with your pediatrician.
They might instruct you to try a suppository, depending on the severity and how long it’s been since your baby last pooped.
Always get the ok from your pediatrician before trying either of these for the first time.
For more tips on your baby’s first year, you’ll love this post on 6-month-old milestones and activities.
Make sure to join my FREE Facebook group to ask other moms and myself any other baby-specific questions you might have!
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